Later this month is going to be one of the biggest Auckland Conversations events so far with former New York Transport Commissioner Janette Sadik Kahn visiting Auckland. I understand that already over 1500 people have signed up and the council want even more to do so. If you haven’t already registered make sure you do.

JSK Talk

And if you haven’t seen it already watch her TED talk to get an idea of some of the things she has done for New York.

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  1. Ugh, what a waste of time. Tell her to stay home.

    Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are not interested. I mean, they’ll pretend to be interested, but will be looking for little ways to adjust their existing projects and thinking and make them look better without changing the substance.

    Jan Gehl was a failure too, for the same reasons.

    1. I asked the question to Ludo after Paul Steely White, why we couldn’t trial closing queen street (or high street) on a weekend. Just a confused expression and a comment back that the retailers have already been through too much with the ‘recent’ queen street upgrade and that it’s too expensive to do more work (ie missing the point entirely)

      I want Janette to give AT a really hard time and let them know what she really thinks of their efforts and not let them get away with all talk and no action.

      I’ll be in leaving for Vancouver a couple of weeks after the talk.

  2. I have similar skepticism around how receptive AT will be to her talk and ideas.
    I fear that the new bus shelter trial ( is designed specifically to quell any question that might arise from her visit. “Look, we doing quick trials too!” I hope it becomes a permanent approach and gets applied to other places like bus lanes and bike lanes too, but judging by AT’s priorities and actions I’m not too sure.

  3. At least it is a step up from the same old Portland and Vancouver people. Presumably she will ride in from the airport and figure out we have it all wrong based on her 30 minute inspection just like all the others have.

    1. 30 mins?, bit long isn’t it?, just looking at the options and routes from the airport would tell any reasonably alert person what priorities the transport system and therefore the entire city is built to….

      1. Yes, I reckon 30 secs is about all she will need. In fact any half intelligent person would take about 30 secs to figure out that Auckland is an auto dependent transport disaster.

        However, I am sure Paul Steely-White will have prepared her for what she will find.

        Of course, what could Auckland possibly have to learn from anyone else, let alone minor places like New York, Portland or Vancouver. Auckland is perfect, isnt it?

        1. Why don’t you guys offer to speak instead. It would save us a fortune. As for what we could learn well if you have visited those cities you will know that lesson one is to exclude all poor people. Either because historically they were not allowed in (Oregon) or by putting the squeeze on through prices (all three). Except of course for those who are permitted to live in a box.

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